The recent news of the Shanghai Dragon's four new players, on the surface, bodes well for the only Overwatch League team without a single match win. Such a shockingly bad stage 1 record called for equally shocking changes, and most fans can appreciate that new talent was needed. We don't know how frequently the new players will be used yet, but it is safe to say that the inclusion of three talented Korean players and arguably the best Chinese support player is, at least, broadening the Dragon's strategic potential going into stage 2.
However, there is another side of the story. One that involves a blow to Chinese national pride and concerns that the Dragon's already established communication issue will be further exaggerated with the inclusion of a Korean / Chinese language barrier. Sources from bbs.ngacn.cc, a massive Chinese gaming forum, shared the most popular response to the new Dragons roster with InvenGlobal and the initial reactions are a mix of worry, hope, and confusion as to why more players from the talented Chinese free agent list weren't chosen.
Doubts, but still hopeful.
When I spoke with our source who preferred to stay anonymous, they told me the most popular criticism of Geguri is a perception that her hero pool is not deep enough and heavily reliant on Zarya.In addition, most Chinese fans don't seem to be satisfied with Ado as the teams primary Genji, instead believing the team could have found a better Genji specialist. Naturally, the most praise and excitement is towards ZHUFANJUN, the only new Chinese player to be brought on.
The following are 15 thoughts taken directly from NGA.CC, translated to English by our sources:
1. There are only a few domestic players who could achieve top 10 in an Asian server by single queueing, but Geguri did it. She is a very strong player and, also, I think she is pretty cute.
2. Jinmu [renowned Chinese tournament player] was ranked #1 on the Asian server, But he still hasn't been elected to the team. What a pity.
3. I don't know who is better between Geguri and Tian [a known Chinese tank player]. We need an off tank who can protect DPS and supports and I think Tian is more aggressive.
4. Is Geguri really better than Tian or Lateyoung? [Star Chinese tank player]
5. Though 0-10 is a very bad record, signing Korean players means admitting that Overwatch in China is not good enough which isn't true. As a Chinese fan, I don't think this is a good way to handle this. Only when you recognize your weaknesses will you become stronger —— This is becoming a club and no longer a national team.
6. Shanghai Dragons still can’t play Genji or Pharah. There are so many talented players in China who can’t enter the OWL because they are too young, it is such a pity.
7. Ado is in the middle of the pack in Korea in terms of skill. However, we don't know if he can compete with the players in the OWL. Fearless has real potential to become a top tank in the league though.
8. Geguri has so much respect and people value her highly in Korea. Actually, I don't want her to join the Shanghai Dragons. I'm afraid she will take the blame for future Shanghai Dragon performances.
9. I really hope Diya doesn't become a bench player.
10. I don’t think Shanghai Dragons needed an off tank -- why sign Geguri?
11. It's easy to understand what Ado brings to the team: when he is playing on escort, he wins. Any other map, he loses.
12. One or two Koreans can barely be accepted, but I'm afraid our Dragons will turn into another full Korean team in the future.
13. Shanghai Dragons don’t need another off tank. Our current off tank player has no problems!
14. There were a lot of problems with Shanghai Dragons. One of them was a big communication issue -- won't there be more now?
15. Forget it -- I will support Shanghai Dragons no matter what. These players are no pushovers and they don't want to lose either.
All photos inside the Blizzard Arena stadium taken by Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment and subsequently released by Blizzard for publication
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